BLOG: ‘Why we approach PE and sport as a lifestyle choice at our school’

Matthew Bowler, Director of Physical Education, said his school are real believers in the value of high quality PE, competitive sport and exercise. Matthew blogs about King Alfred Academy’s new approach.

Swim a mile, help lead a primary club, write up a match report for a sporting event; these are three of the 52 things that are on King Alfred Academy’s bucket list for students. The reason? The college is striving to make students see PE, physical activity, school sport and their health as a lifestyle choice. 

The benefits are vast and wide ranging, none more so than the positive impact all can have on a young person’s health and wellbeing. We are all too aware of the rising obesity crisis with young people often failing to meet the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations of physical activity and exercise, alongside the rising mental health issues suffered by an ever-increasing group of young people.

The Bucket List

In order to initiate some change within our student body we decided to create a PE and Sport Bucket List. The idea is to develop a lifestyle choice that can be continued into adulthood –  rather than as a “one off”.

The list was created using our highly effective and passionate PE Change Team formed of students from Year 7 to 10 (if you do not have one I would highly recommend starting one). Getting the pupils’ feedback and asking them to consult their peers and discuss as a group various activities, has ensured our bucket list really matters to them. It can be completed within lessons and outside of the classroom, and is inclusive – captivating a wide range of interest, activities and personality traits.

The bucket list contains areas of physical activity, leadership, officiating, use of technology, volunteering within the community, participation in competitive sport as well as choosing healthier lifestyle choices.

Visibility

The document is available for all students and parents to access via the Academies portal and is being promoted by PE staff within lessons and through health and wellbeing assemblies. More importantly, this is not being used as a reward system, closely tracked (as it is not a race to complete all 52) or indeed compulsory. This is because we are trying to develop lifelong exercise habits and not forced involvement as experience tells us this will stop as soon as the students leave the educational environment or even before. 

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